* Many Creator/GilbertAndSullivan fans have never heard of their first collaboration, ''Thespis''. The reason is that Sullivan's music is lost except for two songs: "Little Maid of Arcadee" (published as sheet music) and "Climbing Over Rocky Mountain" (reused in ''Theatre/ThePiratesOfPenzance''). Since Gilbert's libretto survived, there have been multiple efforts to "reconstruct" ''Thespis'' with "Sullivan-style" music. Creator/IsaacAsimov even wrote a time travel story in 1978 ("Fair Exchange?") which focused on a character travelling back to 1871 to rescue the score.
* Almost half of the plays of Creator/WilliamShakespeare, including ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' and ''Theatre/TheTempest'', might have been lost forever if his friends had not decided to publish a memorial volume after his death. Still, some of Shakespeare's work has probably been lost forever:
** There are various references in contemporary documents to a play co-written by William Shakespeare titled ''Cardenio'', which is generally accepted to have been completely lost.
** There are records of a play called ''Love's Labours Won'', which was thought to be an alternate title for ''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew'' until a fragment turned up that listed them as separate plays. It's also been suggested that it's an alternate title for ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing'' -- a 2014 Royal Shakespeare Company production even [[http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/loves-labours-won/usually-known-as.aspx performed it under that title]] -- but since ''Theatre/LovesLaboursLost'' has a pretty clear SequelHook, it's just as possible that it's a now-lost direct sequel to the earlier play.
** This also applies somewhat to the play ''Theatre/PericlesPrinceOfTyre'', which only exists in a corrupt, pirated copy. [[note]]However, his supposed collaborator George Wilkins wrote a novelization entitled ''The Painful Adventures of Pericles, Prince of Tyre'', which some scholars have attempted to use as a source for reconstructing some of the play's dialogue.[[/note]]
* Countless ancient Greek plays have been lost to the historical ether. Of all the ancient Greek playwrights, most are not even represented by a single surviving play, and even of the four best-preserved dramatists, we possess only a meagre portion of their complete bodies of works:
** Creator/{{Aeschylus}}, regarded as the father of dramatic tragedy, is known to have written seventy plays; today, we possess only six or seven (a landmark study by Mark Griffith in 1977 has left the authorship of ''Prometheus Bound'' in doubt). Among the lost plays are the second and third plays in the ''Prometheia'' trilogy, ''Prometheus Unbound'' and ''Prometheus the Fire-Bringer'', of which only fragments survive.
** Creator/{{Sophocles}}, the second great Greek tragedian, is credited with 120 plays, but only seven have survived in their entirety. Fragments of a previously lost play of his, ''The Progeny'', were discovered in 2005. The play is part of the [[Theatre/OedipusRex Oedipus cycle]], and is apparently about the Seven Against Thebes.
** The third great Greek tragedian, Creator/{{Euripides}}, fares only slightly better, with eighteen or nineteen (at least one play's authorship is debated) of over ninety plays surviving. Notably, he is the only Greek tragedian represented by a complete surviving "satyr play" (a burlesque tragicomedy performed in the middle or at the end of a group of tragic plays), ''The Cyclops''.
** Creator/{{Aristophanes}}, the greatest of the Greek comedians, has eleven surviving plays out of around forty.
* Claudio Monteverdi probably wrote eight operas, but only three survive in complete score (the earliest and the last two). Three seem to be lost entirely, and we have only a single fragment from each of the other two (one being the famous ''Lament of Arianna''). These fragments only survived because they were published separately.
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